NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and metro Nashville’s faith-based community came together to celebrate the university through prayer for the new year. Started in 2013 when President Glover took the helm of Nashville’s only public institution, the presidential prayer service was her concept to connect TSU with area churches.

Dr. Glenda Glover’s message for the 9th presidential prayer service is to stay faithful while being ‘up against the wall.’ (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Prominent clergy members and believers from all denominations gather at historic Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church each January for the event.  President Glover is the keynote speaker.   

“This is our 9th prayer service, and we start it with prayer and thanks,” President Glover said. “I am thankful that God has blessed me to lead such a marvelous university. And I thank him for trusting me with such an awesome responsibility.” 

The community hasn’t attended a presidential prayer service since early 2020, due to the pandemic. Glover’s message was one of being faithful when you’re ‘up against the wall’ and the power of prevailing prayer.  

Faith-based community goers during the 9th Presidential Prayer Service at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

“You can stop and give up because it’s too difficult, or you can pray and push forward,” Glover continued during her testimony. 

The TSU family is also a part of the service. This year it included newcomers to the event, TSU freshman class president Sir Ford and Shaun Wimberly Jr., who is the student trustee on the TSU Board of Trustees. 

Ford, a business administration major, says seeing faith-based leaders of various denominations from across Nashville and beyond come together was a great experience. 

Sir Ford

“As a freshman, it just shows how the community can come together,” Ford of Nashville says. “The president had a very powerful message, and I am hopeful to see that message translate this semester. I look forward to TSU showing the state of Tennessee what our HBCU represents.” 

Wimberly noted that the experience was heartwarming to see the community come together in support of TSU’s prosperity, “from the church to the Jefferson Street community, to the Islamic faith, the Hebrew faith and of course our TSU faculty, staff, and students,” he says.

“I think it only highlights the extent in which the university has impacted people.”

Shaun Wimberly Jr.

Rev. Aaron X. Marble, pastor of Jefferson Street presided over the program as the service continued with scriptures from Rev. Cora Alston, soulful singing from TSU’s Renee Craig, and greetings from every faith community by Minister Samuel X. 

Along with members of the clergy and supporters from nearby HBCUs, elected officials also attended in support of TSU. Mayor John Cooper, State Rep. Dr. Harold Love Jr., Metro Council member Sharon Hurt, Davidson County Trustee Erica Gilmore, and many more were present. 

TSU alum Rev. Dr. Love said it’s always a great start to the second semester of the school year to galvanize the community, “to ensure every student and faculty has a wonderful experience at Tennessee State,” he said.

State Rep. Dr. Harold Love Jr.

“The second semester we have students returning and you don’t know what their experience has been like while at home … and we want to give them support and let them know, we are here for them.”

Love says he is grateful for his TSU family and the surrounding community.

“TSU has helped mold me. You can also be shaped and molded by the university.”

The service culminated with moving prayers for the city, its youth and young people, along with TSU students, faculty, and staff. The prayer service concluded with a powerful moment when clergy members surrounded President Glover and asked God to continue to crown her wisdom as the spring semester begins on Jan. 17.